You get what you pay for. It took me many years of buying cheap gear, breaking it, and losing out on fishing opportunists to realize the truth in that statement. The simple fact of the matter is that expensive gear usually just works better. When it comes to fishing rods, that statement can’t be more true. After steelhead fishing for several years, and losing a lot of fish, I decided I wanted to eliminate all of the non user errors that I could. I decided to double down on good gear and it made a considerable difference on how many fish I have caught. From the little things like using rubber egg pegs vs tooth pics, to fluorocarbon leader vs mono, it all matters. There are things you can control in fishing, and things you can’t. Saving your money for good gear is something you CAN control.
The Rod: “The Closer” 13’ 6-10 Adjustable Ring
This fall I picked up a Lamiglas “The Closer” centerpin Rod. I went with the 13’ 6-10 option. Now, I will say that I didn’t just go out and buy one after reading about it online. I talked to many many anglers that are far more experienced than myself. People that have tried and tested most of the best rods out there. The rod they kept telling me to get was “The Closer”. I usually don’t recommend going out and buying the best of anything when you are first getting into it. While I was new to centerpin fishing, I wasn’t new to steelhead fishing. I have fished alongside enough people to know that a centerpin setup offers some clear advantages. I continuously watched my friends cover more water by getting longer drifts, and hooking up on more fish than me. So when I decided to get my own rod, I knew I wanted the best. After fishing it for several months now, I can now confirm all of the “hype” I heard was true. Here are some of the features I love about this rod.
Mending the line - The longer the rod, the easier it is to mend the line. Which if you float fish already, you know how important that is. Getting a good clean drift without slack in your line is critical to a good presentation.
Hook Set - The longer your rod is, the easier it is to hook a fish. Now I’m not recommending a 100 yard hero drift, but the with a longer rod, you can make longer drifts and still get the hook set when the float drops. There is nothing worse than drifting through a hole 20 times, then finally the float abruptly disappears, and you swing and miss…. You know there were no snags in the hole, your bag is broke, and you just blew it. This used to happen to me all to often with a 9’ rod. On tough days, one float drop might be all you get. You need to “close” the deal.
Moderate Action - That’s what its listed as anyways. I don’t know what to call it to be honest. It’s not like anything I have ever felt before. In the past I have had rods that were too light and too stiff. Its a hard balance to get perfect. On one hand a stiffer rod will give you a better hook set, on the other hand a more flexible rod keeps the hook set. I always noticed that I would hook fish on my stiff rods, but they seamed to throw the hook often. My noodle action rods had a hard time hooking fish, but they stayed buttoned up tight when I did hook them. This rod is both super flexible up top, and yet has a ton of back bone farther down. The bend in your rod acts as a shock absorbed. With a 13’ rod, you can really get a lot of bend in this thing, but if you need more power, just pull harder. You can really turn a fish when you get into the bottom 3rd of the rod. It’s honestly really hard to explain, but I hope that sheds some light on how it works. It’s the best of both worlds.
Ice Resistant Guides
A lot of the days I have been fishing have been below freezing. Anyone that fishes in cold weather knows the pain of our guides freezing up. After a couple trips I noticed my friends having far more issues than I was. Way more to be honest. I actually didn’t know about this feature when I bought the rod. They are designed to accumulate less ice, and at a slower rate. I honestly don’t know how it works, but I know that it does work. Some days I had zero issues with it when it was just below the freezing mark, and I couldn’t help but have a slight smirk on my face watching my friends struggle. Now it will still get iced up when its really cold outside, but far less. Which means more time fishing and less time breaking ice.
Foam Core Handle
Another cool feature I wasn’t aware of was the foam core handle. This serves two purposes. It’s lighter than most other materials, which plays into the perfect balance of the rod. The other cool part about the foam is that it actually warms your hand up. When you grab onto it, you will feel your hand start to get warmer. I cant stand wearing gloves when fishing. Even when it gets really cold I only wear a thin fingerless pair of wool gloves. The longer your hands stay warm, the less time you spend warming them back up. Not a huge advantage, but it all adds up in the end.
Adjustable Ring Reel Seat
I actually wanted the fixed ring seat, and I think it is probably a great option. I was worried the split ring seat might not hold very well. I was wrong. When I put the first reel I had on this rod I taped the seats in place. Probably not a bad idea still, but I later changes my reel and didn’t have tape. So I went without. The sliding reel seats actually hold really really well! I have yet to put tape on them, and have had zero issues. The nice part is you can adjust where the reel is at on the handle. Reels all have slightly different weights, and being able to adjust for balance is nice. In the end either reel seat is probably great. I plan to get a second 12’ closer and I’ll probably get the fixed seat just to see how I like it.
Another cool little feature is the measurement marks on the rod. There is a 2’, 4’, and 6’ marker on the rod. When you place your hook on the hook keeper these marks will show you exactly where your float set to. When I saw this I thought cool but not really useful. Wrong! I use this all the time. It takes the guess work out of “how deep am I?” If I purchased a rod without these marks, I would add them. Every second counts on the river.
I can’t say enough good things about this rod. It’s a blast to catch fish on. It’s very well thought out. I plan to buy another soon.
13lb fresh hen. She put up a great fight!